Tuesday, August 4, 2009

20 miles with a side of sprinklers

The skies were dark outside as we drove to our starting point on the Saturday run. This was the day I had been anticipating and dreading at the same time. The night before I dug through the "socks without a buddy" basket in the laundry room looking for my lucky pair of socks. I laid out my shorts and top next to my shoes and socks by the side of the bed knowing that at 5:00 am I wouldn't be too conscious of what I was doing. It was better to be prepared than end up halfway through the run realizing that either I had forgotten an essential item or that I had grabbed something of my wife's.
We pulled off to the side of the road, stretched out the hamstrings a little and off we went. The plan was to do 18 with a possible 2 at the end. We both knew that there was no way we'd stop at 18. It was 20 or nothing.
The nice thing about running that early is that there is little traffic on the road and generally no other runners. The other runners we saw were as loaded down with their fuel belts with water/gatorade as we were. The course we mapped out was a gradual decline of about 1% for the first 6 miles then flat with minor ups and downs until about 16 and then there was a couple hills we got to master. That's the hard thing about living at the top of the hill in a higher elevation area—it's all hills. There is no need for me to plan in a hill workout. Every day is a hill workout.
At mile 5 we came across the Hearts 66 station. I got the impression that their station gets visited often by runners because they didn't even blink when we came in and headed straight for the restroom.
The rest of the run was pretty uneventful. It was nice being on a different route and then connecting to routes we've visited in the past. Miles 10,11,12,13 passed by in a blur. Mile 14,15 I was starting to feel like I had added a pound or two extra to my weight. Mile 16 came along and I was cussing the fact that I live in a hilly area. At mile 17 we were given a bit of relief in that we passed a school with the sprinklers on....blessed relief. I've never been so excited to see sprinklers in my life. The mile 17 sprinkler got me to mile 19 when the miracle happened—sprinkler #2 turned on just as we were rounding the bend. Hallelujah!!
Upon arriving back home I turned on the outside sprinklers and just stood under them. The kids came out and told me they had started my ice bath for me (I have trained them well).
At the end of the day, we took on 20.74 miles...I have broken the 20 mile barrier with 6 weeks before the race. This week is all about taking it a little easier. I only have 3 runs planned and none go over 8 miles. We've got two more long long runs until taper time....

1 comment:

  1. In case I haven't mentioned it yet, I think you're nuts. Good luck!